For purposes of determining spousal support during divorce, Riverside courts will generally divide marriages into two types: short-term (less than 10 years) and long term (10 years or more). Absent evidence to the contrary, the court must presume that a marriage of 10 years or more is a marriage of long duration; it may also find that a marriage of less than 10 years qualifies as a marriage of long … Teo Spengler earned a J.D. If you earn less than your spouse, and you have been married for at least ten years, you have the right to be paid alimony for as long as it is needed and for as long as your spouse can pay. California proposed a .4% annual wealth tax that applies to former residents who already left within the past 10 years, and to current residents for ten years after they leave. As a general rule, a nine-and-a-half-year marriage is not considered a marriage of long duration in the state of California. The issues surrounding long term California marriages and the 10 year rule are many. Even when spouses no longer live together they are still legally married at the time of trial. And in such cases, the court retains jurisdiction to modify support indefinitely. Now, you are living in California and are filing to get divorced or legally separated. Under California’s community property rules, retirement plans — like all assets of the marriage — must be divided in half. The main requirement for a retirement distribution to a spouse is that the couple must have been married 10 years or long while the service member has been on active duty. Our network attorneys have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. So generally speaking, a person divorcing after nine-and-a-half years of marriage is presumed entitled to four years and three months of alimony. Here is a 10 step guide that shows the smart way of doing it. However, the courts may look at the history of the couple's time together and may consider long separations when calculating the length of the marriage. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law. However, this is only a general rule. from U.C. How does being married for 10 years or more affect alimony in California? Except in marriages of a long duration, this time period is generally one-half the length of the marriage; however, the court can assign spousal support for a longer or shorter period of time. Process feeling overwhelming? The length of the parties' marriage is judged as a preliminary matter from the time of the marriage to the date of separation. However, this is only a general rule. This is a very common misconception about California divorce law. Once the six years have passed, the alimony ceases. Privacy Policy. ... That means they must be at least 62 and have at least 40 work credits, which translates to 10 years of full-time work. Any wealthy person who moves into Cal. There are two parts of a divorce case that are impacted by a marriage that is designated a marriage of long duration. We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. Common myths about divorce include the idea that fathers never gain custody of their children or that only fathers are required to pay child support. If you have been married for less than five years, have no children, don't own real estate, and have relatively limited property and debts, you may qualify for a summary dissolution. As of 2010 in California, the average cost of a divorce where the parties were represented by lawyers was approximately $50,000 each. / California Divorce Guide / Spousal Support / Benefits of Being Married 10 Years. Generally, each spouse is expected to support himself or herself at a point in the future and spousal support is only to tide over the lesser-earning spouse until that point. A judge may award alimony even after the divorce is final, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Use of our products and services are governed by our Terms of Use and This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. California is one of a few states in the US where you can really benefit financially from staying married for 10 years or longer. One decade does it, in terms of altering your rights to alimony in a divorce. And, in a divorce or legal separation in California, it will be treated as community property. Under California Family Code Section 4336, a divorce court does not automatically lose jurisdiction after dissolving a marriage of long duration; therefore, it may continue to amend its orders over time. In other words, eligibility under the 10/10 Rule is measured from the date of marriage until the date the parties are divorced, not until the date the parties separate. By Elizabeth Stock. Duration of the marriage is included in the list of factors to be considered. Many people falsely believe that, under a California divorce 10 years rule, permanent spousal support will be ordered if the couple has been married at least 10 years. The ONLY thing the Family Code says is that marriages over 10 years is one of "long duration". On MSN Money Liz Pulliam Weston gives us an insightful look at the 10 year rule in divorce, and why so many celebrities call it quits on marriage before their tenth anniversaries. However, for a couple married 10 years or more, if the court awards six years of alimony, and then circumstances change, the parties can return to court to request alimony for a longer period of time. Retaining jurisdiction means that the court has the ability to continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, and can reevaluate its … It's all hoopla over practically nothing. is nuts. One form to be prepared is a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage for the judge to sign, thereby making the divorce final. In other words, if the court makes a ruling regarding alimony, child support, or child custody, and there is a change in circumstances that merits requesting a modification of the divorce decree, the same judge that originally heard the matter will hear the matter again. One of the most troublesome involves the 10-year rule. What is the process for getting a divorce in California? You don't need to have celebrated your silver wedding anniversary to have a lengthy marriage in the eyes of California courts. California law uses the term "spousal support," also known as alimony, to describe payments that one divorcing spouse is ordered to pay the other to maintain the lesser-earning spouse at the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Imagine the courts award a person from a nine-and-a-half-year marriage alimony for six years. Section b. Skip to main content Skip to footer. Maybe it is 10 years and three months or 20 years. In reality, there is no “Ten Year Rule.” Here are the facts: California law (Family Code Section 4336(a)) says that where a marriage is "of long duration," the court "retains jurisdiction" indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. Looking for more great tips to help you get through divorce in California? California is one of a handful of states in which there are special spousal support rules for marriages of 10 years or longer. Under California Family Code Section 4336, a divorce court does not automatically lose jurisdiction after dissolving a marriage of long duration; therefore, it may continue to amend its orders over time. You are married for 10 years or more. The content is not legal advice. When the court is determining how long spousal support payments should last, it must apply a different standard to marriages of long duration. California Divorce Laws and the 10 Year Rule, Things to Ask for in a Divorce Settlement, Pinkham Law Offices: Divorce and Divorce Mediation, Dishon and Block: Top 10 Pieces of Divorce Advice You Are Going to Need. Many people interpret this rule as “you will be guaranteed alimony for life if you hit the 10-year mark in your marriage.” This could not be farther from the truth! She holds both an M.A. The 10-Year Rule, however, simply requires for direct payment from DFAS that the parties were married at least 10 years during which the military spouse served at least 10 years. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Second, keep in mind that you have to file in a specific county within the state. First, at least one of the two parties to the divorce must have lived in California for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. — Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 15, 2020 Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California. Many people believe that once a marriage passes that 10-year mark, there are extensive financial benefits to a divorcing spouse who makes less than their partner. The goal is for the supported spouse to be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. In this situation, the spouse earning less income retains the right to be paid alimony for as long as he or she needs, and as long as the paying spouse can pay. The purpose of spousal support (or alimony) is to minimize the economic impact of the divorce on the spouse who was not the couple’s primary income earner. Community Property Laws in California for a 10 Year Marriage. The Mythical 10 Year Rule – California Spousal Support. Spousal Support and the 10-Year Rule. The rate is reduced by 10% for each year of absence. There is no 10-year rule as it applies to alimony for life, people!!! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! It cannot presume that one-half the length of the marriage is a reasonable period of time for spousal support. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Wondering how to get a divorce in California? You're in luck. For example, if a couple married Jan. 1, 2009, and filed for separation Jan. 1, 2019, but didn't live together between 2014 and 2016, courts may determine this is not a marriage of long duration, thus the court can choose not to retain jurisdiction. Is it a retirement contract for the spouse who receives support? Often, the spouse who brings in less income has the right to be paid for as long as he or she needs, and as long as the other spouse can afford it. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. This amount is on the low end for a contested divorce in Orange County, and it does not include the legal fees for an appeal. For example, if you and your spouse were living in New York during part of your marriage, and you were both working and bought a car there. Whether the parties are married nine or 10 years, the courts will consider the same factors, including each party's contribution to the marriage and household, the abilities of each party to support themselves, the ability of a party to attain financial independence in the future, and a host of other factors. This is not, however, true. California is a community property state, which means the law presumes all property acquired during the marriage is owned equally by both spouses. The court may order a lesser or greater period of support after evaluating the factors set forth in the Family Code and considering the circumstances of the parties; it may even decide that the lesser-earning spouse in a marriage of long duration will never be able to support himself or herself and requires support for life. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. California is one of a few states where you can benefit in alimony payments from staying married 10 years or longer. To be eligible to file in any county in California, at least one of the spouses must have lived in that county for three months before filing for divorce. In a less than 10-year marriage in California, the general standard for the appropriate length of time for alimony is one half of the length of the marriage. What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? Let’s find the text of the California Family Code that states anything about 10 years. In a less than 10-year marriage in California, the general standard for the appropriate length of time for alimony is one half of the length of the marriage. 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